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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One Man in a Corner

- Here's Spitzer's reaction to the Senate Republican's franchise plan:

The State Senate today released its plan for racing, six weeks after the recommendation was made. We have begun our review of their plan and we will be discussing it with the legislature and with the New York Racing Association (NYRA). The plan appears to raise as many questions as it answers, including which entities would actually operate racing and the VLT facility at Aqueduct. I continue to believe that the proposal to give the racing franchise to a newly reconstituted NYRA, while selecting an experienced gaming operator to run the VLT facility at Aqueduct, offers by far the best solution for stability and growth of the racing industry in New York State. [NY Times]
Rather diplomatic, I'd say. Sheldon Silver said that the plan had “no details” and “no clear vision” and “no substance.” He also said that the plan is "is an attempt to permanently install appointees of the former governor and Senator Bruno to determine the future of racing in New York." [DRF]

I wrote in the prior post that Bruno was "being a real idiot," and I shouldn't write stuff like that; it's rather unprofessional. But I was in a rush, and looking for a word to sum up how I felt. So now I'll try to be more mature.

I just think that the Senate Majority Leader is not making good decisions these days. And that's besides his being delusional when he said he believes the Democratic-controlled Assembly, Spitzer, and various racing industry stakeholders will all support the Senate plan. [Thoroughbred Times]

For one thing, as I've said before, I think he's making a big mistake in perpetuating the Choppergate inquiries. More relevantly, in this case, I think he may be painting himself into a corner. He's clearly the only one of the three men in a room that will be in favor of his plan, which includes slots at Belmont, a no-no for Silver. And we'll soon find out if I'm wrong, but I can't at all see his constituency in Saratoga backing him on this. The reaction there to NYRA's selection was pretty good as I recall. But Bruno's plan calls for the tracks to be offered for bid separately. That's the kind of radical plan that could have the blood pressure in Saratoga boiling! If that's the case, does Bruno really want to be the lone holdout in Dec 31, and be the one who's - perhaps - jeopardizing the continuance of racing on Jan 1?

Having said all that, Bruno's plan includes the concept of consolidating the OTB's. Under his plan, it would be under the state corporation that will be overseeing the unwieldy-sounding mess he proposes to create. But it's nice to see the concept out there. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime," Bruno said Oct. 16 of the plan to fix a broken model involving racetracks and OTBs. Did he really say that?


Anonymous said...

Let's review:

According to published reports, Bruno flatly rejected the governor's proposal: "We are not going to do that, pure and simple," Bruno said.

Speaker Silver criticized the Bruno plan saying it had “no details” and “no clear vision” and “no substance.”

Spitzer weighed in later, arguing that the Senate plan was late - six weeks after the Spitzer recommendation was made. Spitzer also complained that the Bruno "plan appears to raise as many questions as it answers, including which entities would actually operate racing and the VLT facility at Aqueduct."

Okay: The pot calling the kettle. The Spitzer plan took nine months and raised as many questions as it answered and still doesn't answer who runs vlt's at Aqueduct ...

The Bruno plan, like the Spitzer plan, by any reasonable standard, has "no details", “no clear vision” and “no substance" ...

And the Silver plan? Well, apparently he lacks one. Great exhibit of leadership there, huh?

And people wonder why racing is in trouble?

Anonymous said...

NYRA's finally "toast." Thank goodness! NYRA has led racing's decline, not only in NY but in the country. Maybe once and for all NY can rid itself of the "Kentucky influence" that has used it for its own showcase (making stallions and graded races), while forgetting about the toatilty of horse breeding and racing throughout America. NYRA has merely been Kentucky's puppet for decades. Look through the prior and current NYRA trustee list and "persons of consequence" that have been associated with NYRA and then tell me that I am wrong. Bruno knows and cares more about the past, present and future of racing than Spitzer and Silver will ever know in their lifetimes. He's also tired of Kentucky calling the shots in NY. My hats's off to Bruno and Larkin on this one!

Anonymous said...

got to agree that Bruno's plan can't be dismissed -- not with the NY Post story that NYC OTB is about to go belly-up. NYRA has a summer of good weather at saratoga and everybody's drooling to give this bankrupt and corrupt group 30 more years and hundreds of millions more in tax payer subsidies.
maybe racing going dark in NYS (in the winter at Big A, bid deal) will shake this industry up!